Have you read my post about keeping your kids safe online by letting them use their very own child-friendly browser?
If so, you will have noticed that one of the options I mentioned was Kido’z and today I have knocked together a quick review of their offering –
The first thing that needs to be said about Kido’z is that it is completely free so you can download it and give it a go without risking any of your hard-earned cash.
Of course the fact that Kido’z is free is a good thing, but responsible parents will still want to know that it is safe, secure and suitable before putting it in front of their children.
What, then, do I think of Kido’z?
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF KIDO’Z
After talking to Nici, the Community Manager for Kido’z, I discovered that their browser is targeted at children aged two to eight.
My first glimpse of the browser confirmed that, at least from a visual point of view.
Kido’z is amazingly bright and colourful which is exactly the sort of thing that younger children love.
I have 3 kids myself and I got all of them to take a quick look.
My elder two were not interested at all whilst my youngest, who is in the targeted age range, was drawn to the screen straight away.
She’s incredibly computer literate (she has a computer-smart dad!) and was navigating her way around in mere seconds, finding all sorts of perfectly safe games and websites.
She lost interest within a couple of hours due to other, non-computer, distractions but thats just the way I like it – I think some kids spend far too much time on computers and consoles these days anyway.
I have no doubt though that she will revisit Kido’z next time she sits at her computer.
KIDO’Z MAIN FEATURES
Kido’z has many features as you would expect.
Here are the main ones that I found –
- Kido’z is FREE!
- Kido’z is bright and colourful which means your kids will be attracted to it straight away
- The whole user interface relies on pictures, meaning that no writing skills are required in order to use it
- The graphical nature of Kido’z makes it suitable for kids as young as two
- Once setup you can safely leave your kids to surf, play games and even watch Youtube videos
- Kido’z features a Parental Control Account that is password-protected so only you can change the settings
- The user interface features 17 different languages, though content can be added in some 160 lanuguages
- Kido’z has a Smart Content Engine that automatically filters content according to variables such as age, gender, language, so that each child views content that is most appropriate and enjoyable for him/her.
KIDO’Z IN ACTION
Kido’z is an easily installed Adobe AIR application that you can have up and running on your computer in minutes, maybe even seconds.
Unlike the various web browsers that us adults use, Kido’z offers a huge amount of control over what your children can and cannot view.
Fire it up for the first time and you’ll be met with a page that displays icons for some of the more popular kid’s granchises such as Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse.
Your younger kids will love it and they can easily click on those icons in order to visit the respective web pages within the application.
When your kids are using Kido’z the application will run in full screen mode, meaning that they will be unable to access anything else on your desktop (the application even hides the status bar).
Kido’z offers a large range of parental controls which will allow you to determine which sites they can and cannot access.
You can even limit how how long they are able to use the browser for if you are concerned about how much time they spend on the computer.
All the content that is viewable via Kido’z is both moderated and pre-approved by the Kido’z team so you can be assured that your children will only be able to view appropriate content.
I personally find it refreshing, for example, to know that my daughter can view YouTube clips that are are definitely going to be suitable for her, and that includes the comments left by others on those videos.
MY LASTING IMPRESSION OF KIDO’Z
Overall I am very impressed with Kido’z.
The child I have that is within the target age group certainly enjoyed using it though I think she may become bored quite quickly.
That is because she is much nearer eight years of age rather than two.
My lasting impression of Kido’z then is that it does exactly what it says and offers an interesting, exciting and overall safe web experience for your children, though I think I would have to say that the appropriate age range should be more like 2 – 6 rather than 2 -8.
Remember, though, that Kido’s is free so why not give it a go – download from Kidoz.net – and then let me know what you think via the comments below…